Kevin Spacey leveraged celebrity to get away with ‘cruel’ assaults, prosecutor says

Kevin Spacey, wearing a suit and tie, walks across a London street.
Kevin Spacey on Monday walks outside London’s Southwark Crown Court, where he is being tried on sexual assault charges.
(Jordan Pettitt / Associated Press)

Kevin Spacey benefited from a “trinity of protection” tied to his celebrity as he allegedly sexually assaulted four men, leaving the victims feeling “small, diminished and worthless,” the prosecutor in the actor’s current sexual assault case said during closing arguments Wednesday in London.

Spacey got away with the alleged chain of assaults over the course of more than a decade because he knew he was famous enough that the men wouldn’t complain or wouldn’t be believed if they did complain, prosecutor Christine Agnew said, according to the Associated Press. He also knew authorities wouldn’t take action against him, she added as she rounded out the “trinity.”

The judge on Wednesday threw out some indecent assault charges that had been included, citing a legal technicality. The actor has pleaded not guilty to the remaining charges, which still include sexual assault and causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.


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Agnew described the Oscar winner as a person who took advantage of his fame, expected to get what he wanted and benefited from an “enormous power imbalance” between himself and his alleged victims, Deadline reported.

“It’s about power and taking advantage of that power,” Agnew said, per Variety, calling the defense’s arguments “fragile” and — playing off Spacey’s high-profile series “House of Cards” — a “house of straw.”

Spacey has been accused of acts ranging from unwanted touching to aggressive crotch-grabbing and, in one case, performing oral sex on an unconscious man.

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“He is undoubtedly someone who is kind to those he chooses to be kind to,” she said, per Deadline. “History is littered with those who are benevolent to some and cruel to others.”

The alleged assaults are said to have occurred between 2001 and 2013. Spacey lived in London from 2004 to 2015 when he was working as artistic director at the Old Vic theater.

When he took the stand, Spacey said his accusers were motivated by “money, money, money.” Denying the allegations, he said he had consensual encounters with two of the men, downplayed crotch-grabbing allegations by a third man as a “clumsy pass” and said it was “pure fantasy” that he had made racially insensitive remarks to a fourth man and violently grabbed that man’s genitalia.


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Two of the men have filed lawsuits against Spacey and a third reached out through Spacey’s website seeking to settle the criminal case.

The defense is scheduled to present its closing arguments Thursday at Southwark Crown Court in London.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.